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Bettman calls 2014 Winter Classic ‘everything we hoped for’

Jan 1, 2014, 7:12 PM EDT

bettmaninthecoldgetty Getty Images

With an enormous crowd on hand at Ann Arbor’s Big House, the 2014 Winter Classic was a huge success for the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and NHL on a whole. Commissioner Gary Bettman wasn’t shy about singing the event’s praises.

“The 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was everything we hoped for — the biggest and best New Year’s Day party in our history,” Bettman said in a press release. “The Red Wings and Maple Leafs gave our fans, here at ‘The Big House’ and all around the hockey world, a spectacular afternoon …”

While the Big House is known for the University of Michigan’s packed football games, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock pulled out a baseball metaphor to rave about the outdoor game.

“To me, today was a home run for hockey,” Babcock said.

Hey, a home run has a better ring to it than a touchdown or a “pick-six,” anyway …

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